Hi. My name is Sarah, I’m 32…and I’m a junkie.
A reality television junkie, that is. Boy does that feel good to say! Isn’t admitting the problem the first step? Okay, so while I know I’m not alone in this guilty pleasure I feel I may have a slightly abnormal fascination with watching the lives of others unfold and fall apart on screen. And my drug of choice has and always will be The Bachelorette.
This season’s finale is quickly approaching, and it’s undoubtedly been my favorite one yet. For one thing, Andi is unequivocally a leading lady in a league of her own. Bursting with both book and street smarts, she is well-spoken, genuine, and even a bit gritty at times. Secondly, the men have been overwhelmingly phenomenal. Of course in the first couple of episodes there seemed to be more Archetypes than actual people. But by the time we got to Hometown Dates things started to get, for lack of a better word, real. The group had been whittled down, layers had been peeled, and Andi was left with four fantastic potential partners. We had the strong and sweet Marcus, the All-American athlete Josh, the cocky yet tender Nick, and the reserved gentleman Chris. While each had a distinctive personality, they all shared a deep adoration for Andi.
In fact, I was struck by how unabashedly vocal each was about their feelings for her. Even though they were fully aware that Andi was building similar emotional and physical relationships with the others and she wasn’t allowed to fully say how she felt until the final rose, these dangers didn’t seem to inhibit the men whatsoever. I was overwhelmed with emotion when the cool and composed Nick became adorably flustered, practically unable to utter the words that he did, in fact, love Andi. When he was finally able to say it aloud, the truly heart wrenching moment came with the realization that she couldn’t actually say it back, even if she wanted to. And while you could see the distress in his eyes, he still refused to back down.
Nick wasn’t the only one who was able to unapologetically expose his feelings. I watched each man in his own way communicate his love for Andi knowing fully well his heart could be broken at any moment.
This really made me think. For my entire adult life I’d always stayed at least partially guarded in my relationships purely out of fear of getting hurt. I’d get attached easily and fall in love quickly, but I’d usually choose to keep those feelings inside. Because even if that person did reciprocate my affection, there was always the potential for them to leave me, stop loving me, or run into the arms of another. It sounds crazy, but watching Chris, Nick, Josh and Marcus made me think that maybe I’d been going about this whole thing all wrong.
We tune in each Monday nights and root for Andi to find love because we see ourselves in her; we want to believe that the fairy tale is attainable. And while happily ever after is absolutely possible for anyone, the road leading up to it is inevitably filled with hard work, setbacks, and even heartbreak. Sometimes in life we may say, “I love you” and never hear it back. But perhaps that’s the risk we should be taking. Perhaps only then will we find our greatest reward.